I received a letter from my mom that came from the women’ s shelter. I was excited because a letter meant that she had at least thought about me. The ghost of a mother I had was starting to take shape. I held the letter in my hand and stared at it for quite some time. I was afraid to read it at first. What if it was a goodbye?
As I opened the letter, two sticks of gum fell to my lap. Fruitstriped gum.
It wasn’t a goodbye at all, but the letter had an ominous tone and I didn’t know what to make of it. I tried to remember as best as I could the last moments I spent with my mom. I struggled. None of the memories I had were that pretty and I definitely didn’t remember my mom ever speaking of the bible.
This might as well have been some foreign language. None of it made any sense to me… how was she doing? Was she safe? Did she like where she was living? Was it close by? Could I see her? Did she want to see me? Did she think about me as often as I thought about her? Did she sit in that chair at grandma’s table, the one that I always sit in? Did she know I went there?
Questions. No answers. And then I saw it!
She wrote “I Love You Jill, Mama”.
This was the beginning of something. I just didn’t know it yet.